Jacques Vapillon / www.vapillon.com

Lanzarote sailors to resume tonight

As Giancarlo Pedote on the mighty scow reaches the half way stage of the Mini Transat

Thursday November 21st 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

The Azores High, currently located immediately northwest of the Canaries is taking its toll, causing the trade winds to move south. Competitors in the Mini Transat are reckoning that to find good breeze you have to go almost to the latitude of the Cape Verde Islands. But it is a risky strategy.

After the breeze conditions of the first few days out of Sada, when it was almost impossible to slow the boats down in the big winds and substantial seas, the sailors were finally able to enjoy some fine surfing conditions, over a background swell as they left Lanzarote in their wake. But 24 hours on and the circumstances have changed again. The trade winds are dropping south as the Azores high moves leaving the skippers having to hunt down the gusts on the water, as they try to determine the best strategy for the coming days.

For the leaders, the tension is growing as they find themselves reliving the fable of the tortoise and the hare. But the tortoises are struggle to keep on their advantage. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian), who is more than 20 miles ahead of Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) is still in an interesting strategic position, however Rémi Fermin (Boreal), who is further south, could pose a real threat to the two leaders.

In the Series class, Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) still has a comfortable lead over Jean-Baptiste Le Maire (L’œuvre du Marin Breton). Behind this pair, the battle between Simon Koster (Go 4 it) and Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) could work to their advantage as they have managed to position themselves to the south of the leaders.

Meanwhile, others take advantage of what remains of the wind, like Florian Blanchard (MC Technologies) who posted the best run of the day in the Series class, neck and neck with Pierre-François Dargnies (We-van.com).

Some of the survivors in Puerto Calero are struggling to cast off. For them, the goal is now to complete the race that, for some, began more than two years ago. So naturally, they want to minimise all the risks: go over the rig just one more time, check all the little details that might have been overlooked.

If possible, they would like leave at the same time. The remaining five should finally set off from Lanzarote tonight, the group including Nolwen de Carlan (Reality), François Guiffant (Scidiam), Eric Jézégou (Déphémérides – AM2I), Marc Dubos (CEPAT) and Louis Mauffret (Solidaires). On the south coast of Gran Canaria, Andrea Iacopini (Umpalumpa) intends to repair his spreader and put to sea as soon as possible.

The situation for the four soloists still docked in Lanzarote
Richard Hewson (RG650.com) mast problems
Hugues Cholet (Pour le Bel Espoir) had planned to stop at the outset
Charles Boulanger (Foksamouille) has not clarified its intentions
Federico Cuciuc (Your Sail) has not clarified its intentions

Protos at 15.00 UTC
1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 – Prysmian) with 1884.7 nm to finish
2. Benoit Marie (667 – benoitmarie.com) + 20.1 nm
3. Rémi Fermin (741 – Boréal) + 104.9 nm
4. Bruno Garcia (240 – Sampaquita) + 138.3 nm
5. Bertrand Delesne (754 – TeamWork Proto) + 179.5 nm

Series at 15:00 UTC
1. Aymeric Belloir (810 – Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) with 2014.4 nm to finish
2. Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 – Œuvre du Marin Breton) + 79.3 nm
3. Simon Koster (819 – Go 4 it) + 81.8 nm
4. Justine Mettraux (824 - TeamWork) + 88.8 nm
5. Eric Cochet (Abers & Co) + 180 nm

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